Exploring the attitudes of Bavarian farmers towards pain in cattle and how they differ from the attitudes of bovine veterinarians
ackground Assessment of pain in cattle depends on the observer's experience and evaluation. Only a few studies compare veterinarians’ and farmers’ attitudes towards pain in cattle. Methods A questionnaire was sent to 1097 cattle practitioners and 3750 farmers. Return rate was 26.2% for veterinarians and 15.4% for farmers, respectively. Respondents were asked to score the painfulness of procedures and diseases in cattle on a numerical rating scale from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain imaginable), to give their opinion about the use of analgesics during and after procedures, and to agree or disagree with given statements. Results There were no significant differences between pain scores awarded by veterinarians and farmers, but significant differences in parameters both groups relied on for pain assessment. Farmers were less willing than veterinarians to use analgesia during and after procedures. There was no significant difference in the amount of money veterinarians thought farmers would spent on analgesia and farmers’ actual statements. Conclusion The results of this study indicate that farmers and veterinarians assess pain severity similarly, but recognise pain differently and disagree in their opinion regarding the use of analgesics. The communication between both groups needs to be improved to ensure proper pain management.